Emergency Management

Emergency preparedness is your individual, and family responsibility piece of the Emergency Management process!

This is all about having the understanding, and wisdom, to establish a type of  "insurance policy" in the form of:

  • Knowledge of the real risks and hazards in the area that you live, work and travel
  • Emergency plans which will help you to know what to do in a disaster
  • Appropriate emergency and first aid supplies, at home, school, work or in your car
  • Additional food, water and supplies to take care of your family for a period of time if you are unable to go to the store.

The fact is, that in a large scale disaster, you could be on our own, individually, or all of us collectively, for days, weeks, months, or possibly even years in the RECOVERY PHASE. We need to be as self reliant as we can be, and be willing to help others around us, until help can arrive. The bigger the disaster, the farther help is going have to come from to respond to our emergency.

The EMERGENCY PHASE of a disaster consists of:

  • Life Saving Efforts
  • Property/Environment Conservation
  • Incident Stabilization Actions

The Emergency Phase is concurrently run with, or subsequently followed by the Recovery Phase, which is movement to get things back to as normal as possible. But there will always be a "new normal" following a disaster. 

Understand that there are no government resources meant to make us "whole" again, as individuals and families, if our homes and property have been badly impacted. As emergency managers we coordinate with Volunteer Organization Active in Disaster (VOADs) for resources to assist people to sustain life, and get back up and running , but again, not to put us where we were at the day before the disaster. 

VOAD consists of recognizable organizations such as Red Cross, and United Way, or lesser known Team Rubicon, as well as our faith based organizations such as Salvation Army, LDS Charities, Catholic Charities, Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Services, United Methodists, Mennonite Disaster Services, Samaritan's Purse, and many others.

These great organizations works nationally and internationally in responding to disasters. They know each other and work together to do what needs to be done. We have benefited from several of these organizations here in Box Elder County, on a couple different occasions.

You might hear that FEMA has authorized "Public Assistance" funds in a disaster. Understand that this refers to assisting with "Public Infrastructure, and Public Agencies". If significant damage has occurred which meets specific thresholds, FEMA may authorize "Individual Assistance" funds to be released, but it is mostly in the form of low interest loans.

Emergency Managers at the local, state and federal levels, form a tiered network to coordinate the following elements as defined by potential, and then actual size and scope of the disaster:

  • Preparedness (County Government and citizens)
  • Planning  (County Response Processes)
  • Response / Coordination (logistical, external, and specialized support)
  • Recovery  (For Individuals, Businesses and Governments)

We strive to utilize the Whole Community concept in preparing for and responding to a disaster. We all have a roll in this. Citizens, government, business and other Non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Please consider the opportunities available to volunteer a little of your time on one of several organizations which are critical for our communities on disaster day. Some of these opportunities are:

  • Your Volunteer Fire and Emergency Medical organizations in your city or town, where they exist. There is a growing shortage of these people in many of our communities.
  • Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT - if your community runs one)
  • VOADs - Such as Red Cross, Team Rubicon, or a faith based disaster organization.
  • Ask your elected officials or emergency manager if they could use some help. 

REMEMBER-  "The time to prepare ends when the disaster begins!"